Yesterday, I blogged the statement from the RJR Newscentre, for which I work, regarding a TVJ tape and an interview with Olympians Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson. The attorney representing Asafa and Sherone, Milton Samuda, is also the Chairman of TVJ, for which I work. Here is the statement he issued a short while ago.
MILTON J. SAMUDA
JULY 26, 2013
News has circulated widely concerning the interview held on Monday July 22, 2013. It is important that the facts be placed in the public domain.
It must first be understood that the journalists were told up front that the questions in the interview would be restricted. That was the basis on which the journalists agreed to participate. I did not select the journalists who participated.
It is standard procedure for those preparing for a hearing to be advised to restrict public statements to matters which will not arise in that hearing. The fact that other questions were posed was the basis on which the journalists were asked for the tapes so as to remove those questions and the answers. I made the request on the basis of the restoration of trust and the fulfilment of their agreement. The journalists acted honourably and complied with my request.
At no time were the tapes “seized” or “confiscated” and certainly no “equipment” was.
Consequently one media house did in fact carry a story and we are satisfied that at no time did we try to suggest to any media house what to publish or carry.
I do believe in and fully support freedom of the press but I also appreciate that that freedom is based on integrity and the honouring of one’s word. Freedom of the press should not be pursued at the expense of honour. I applaud the forthright treatment of the matter by TVJ News, clearly demonstrating the fierce independence of that newsroom.
I do not tolerate conflict of interest, but it cannot be that those of us who hold several different positions in society are ipso facto prevented from acting decisively in any.
Throughout, I acted as one of the Attorneys-at-Law for Miss Simpson and Mr. Powell. My primary duty was and is to protect their interests.
As the process continues, we will disclose the appropriate information when required.”
MILTON J. SAMUDA